Tucked well into Friday’s front page story about a food stamp scam was a remarkably revealing quote from the spokeswoman for the federal Food and Nutrition Services program.
“FNS is currently developing rulemaking that codifies this statutory provision and provides the program disqualification periods for these infractions,” she said. “When something happens enough times you have this sort of rulemaking.”
Well said, Adriana Zorrilla.
The federal provision forbidding food stamp recipients from conduct such as purchasing bottled water with their benefits, dumping the water onto the ground, redeeming the returnable bottles for cash that can be used for cigarettes and liquor, which are not eligible food stamp purchases, actually was passed two years ago.
It’s not being enforced, though, because — well, I guess the well-spoken spokeswoman from the FNS summed it up pretty well in that clarifying quote.
We’ll check back in a couple more years, Ms. Zorrilla, and see how that rulemaking is going.
Meanwhile, I’m thinking that teenagers everywhere may soon be advocating that all parents adopt “federal rulemaking” procedures.
Personally, I’m wondering if I might be qualified for a nice federal job as the spokeswoman for some department or other.
Speaking of spokesmen or women, there have been a few times during the past year when the Bangor City Council could have used a good one —not one who speaks like Ms. Zorilla, to be sure, but a spokesman just the same.
It’s been a challenging year for the council, both on fiscal and personality fronts.
There are just two weeks left for anyone interested in returning nomination papers for a seat on the next council.
There are three seats open on the nine-person council.
Current Council Chairman Richard Stone has announced his decision not to seek re-election.
Incumbents Susan Hawes and Harold Wheeler have both taken out nomination papers, as have Bangor residents Charles Longo Jr., Nelson Durgin and John Hiatt.
With continued reductions in federal stimulus money expected, it is sure to be a demanding and taxing year for the council.
Serving on the City Council is an incredible time commitment and involves more criticism than praise, I would guess. There has been a fair amount of complaining among the residents regarding some of the actions and decisions of the council over the past year.
There’s time left if you’re up for that challenge.
I think Michael Chasse could have used a good spokesman this week, or at the very least a good lawyer.
Chasse has been representing himself in Knox County, where he is standing trial for holding two people hostage in a prison library in 2008.
He spent six hours testifying on Thursday, during which he admitted to jurors that his search for “righteous protest” went awry that June day and that holding two people in the office for seven hours turned out to be “uneffective.”
He learned a thing or two during the ordeal, he told the panel.
“If you want to change somebody, you can’t change them by holding them hostage,” he said. “You can’t change a prison by killing a cop.”
On second thought, Chasse’s statement on prison hostage-taking is actually a lot clearer than Ms. Zorilla’s statement on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s response to food stamp fraud.
Chasse is a notorious and dangerous criminal who needs to stay put behind bars, but perhaps he could make some spare change writing press releases for the USDA.
It would seem he actually makes more sense.
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